Fisher Cat Scream: What Does a Fisher Cat Sound Like?


Fisher Cat Screaming

I first heard the scream of a fisher cat several years ago. Having grown up here and spending much of my youth hunting and calling animals, I knew what I heard was not a fox or a raccoon. If I had to describe what it sounded like, I would say it is a cross between a woman being attacked and a bad power steering pump chattering sound. Literally blood curdling.

When I first heard the fisher cat sound, fisher cats were an urban legend around here. Some had been seen, but none of these sightings had been confirmed until 2006 when a road killed fisher cat was found in Sandwich.

So what exactly does a fisher cat screech sound like?

There are many videos on Youtube claiming to be a fisher cat call or fisher cats screaming, but in none of them can you actually see the animal that is making the screaming sounds. In just about all of these videos I have seen, the audio is actually red fox screams, which sound like a loud “Waaaaaah” scream sound. Some are raccoon sounds and one very popular “fisher cat sound” video taken in daylight actually sounds to me like the lady’s neighbor who hunts every day and is out on his porch with a gun in the video, has an electronic caller playing dying rabbit sounds in the woods trying to call something in.

This is a Red Fox Scream. NOT a Fisher Cat:

This is a Raccoon Fight. NOT a Fisher Cat:

Below is a video of a Cape Cod fisher cat screaming at the Cape Wildlife Center in Cummaquid which is the only video I have seen where you can actually see the animal making the screeching sounds. The sound this fisher is making is quite guttural sounding. The one I heard was making this same sound along with a higher pitched screaming sound (like a woman being attacked).

This is a Fisher Cat screaming:

As the lady in the video states:

Once you’ve heard it, you never forget it.

I know what I heard that night several years ago was a fisher cat scream. It was actually in the Spring, when fisher cats are mating, so I believe it was the mating call of the fisher cat that I heard that night. Have you heard a fisher cat scream?


Fisher Cat Scream: What Does a Fisher Cat Sound Like? — 39 Comments

  1. Hi My Name Is Joseph, Tonight (12/23/2013) i was sitting on the couch watching TV it was about 11:45pm And I just Started to here this screaming it went on for about 10 Min. there was about a 4 to 10 second gap between each scream. i got up and shined my flash light out side i didn’t see anything at all & the screams stop. i live on long pond in Brewster i live very secluded from other houses And the ones that are close are closed up for the winter so i Know it wasn’t a person I’ve never heard anything like that before in my life. so first thing i did was search it, i just moved here from CA and don’t really know what type of animals live here so i was searching your website and i listen to owl noises and fox and racoons but its none of those I’m 100 % sure its a fisher cat!

    • Yes…they are here…they live as loners so are great as a small animal population controller. They are capable to take down small deer even!

  2. I would love to know more about the Fisher
    Has there been any spotted in Yarmouth?
    Are they making a come back?
    How would I go about to learning more about them & I would love to see one.

  3. I live on Indian Trail in Cummaquid and around 7:30 in the morning on both the 4th and 5th of this month(March) I saw a rather large fisher run through my yard. One had also been heard perhaps 6 days earlier in Cobbs Village, by Barnstable Harbor.

  4. For the past week we have heard the fisher cat yowling up and down Sullivan rd in West Yarmouth . The animals path seems to start down near Big Sandy Pond and continue through the residential area and away possibly through to the large cranberry bog across the road. Timings are between 10pm and 3 am. We actually saw the fisher cat near the end of the driveway on th night of May 13th 2014 at 1130 pm.

  5. i live in n.h. i have seen a fisher cat screaming. it sounds like a child being beating. once you hear it you will never forget it!

  6. I saw a fishercat here in Maine last winter. I was sitting by the window and saw something dark against the snow. His bushy tail was as long as his body. He scooted up and over a snowbank and into the woods. I’ve also heard what I think is a fisher screaming in the woods. What a frightful sound, like a baby screaming.

  7. I’ve heard them and a neighbor trapped one to relocate it out of the area in Marlboro by the Sudbury reservoir. The noise is also similar to that of a Bobcat. I was fishing in New York and heard a bobcat make that awful yelling screaming noise which sounds like a women in distress

    • Omg yes it does!!!! The recording that my friend got sounds like a women screaming for her life from gunshots.

  8. I live in Brewster, MA and want to let everyone know I definitely heard a large Fisher Cat screaming at 4:30 am last night, 8/4/14. I grabbed my flashlight because I didn’t know for sure what it was. He was in my front yard, stared right at me, ran 20 yds. Stopped screamed again. I moved forward and yelled at him and he ran away. Crazy!

  9. Fishers are not cats; not even in the feline family. They are in the weasel family and the proper name is “fisher”… for some reason, some people call them “fisher cats”. They can be quite nasty… ripped some huge gouges in a friend’s horse in the paddock a few years back in the evening. They heard the horse, came running and saw a fisher on the horse’s back, unfortunately, it got away. Thanks for the video/audio!

  10. Hi, I’m in Lausanne, Switzerland. We have a small garden, that overlooks a river. They’ve tried to make of the river area a sort of natural preserve. Sometimes animals can be spotted. Once I saw a fox, on a neighboring resisdential street. The reason I write is one night this summer, some frightening animal screams woke me up, not unlike that fisher cat – of which there aren’t any in Europe. Our three animals were standing still when I went to the living room; the two cats sitting up; our chihuahua hardly barking, all three as if mesmerized. There were resonant steps sounds from the soil too, as if the animal were quite heavy and/or muscular. I’d never heard anything like it. I went back to bed yet my imagination started running, until the beast went away! Could it have been a fox?

  11. I’ve heard that scream here in New Jersey. Could that be possible? No porcupines around here. What else go/can/will they prey upon. I live near a creek, anything possible there?

  12. I saw my second sighting of a fisher cat today in the Trail of Tears in Barnstable Conservation near the Chase Road entrance by the power lines.I saw another sighting by the service road in Sandwich. He was in a tree. I’m an avid trail runner and I run in the woods and I rarely run on the road. My very first time I saw one was in Plymouth in the woods around Manomet. I wasn’t sure what it was and I looked it up. I can say with all certainty these are fisher cats I’m seeing. he one today was black and his tail was as long as his body.

  13. I am frI’m Oregon and never. Heard of these cats. Would love to see one and hear one. I have been told about them.

  14. one heard on old kings highway in hollow across from fourth of july rd truro 1:30 am 1/17/15 lasted a minute

  15. I was driving home last night (June 11, 2015)at dusk, approaching the rotary in W.Barnstable from the South. A Fisher Cat crossed the road directly in front of my vehicle. I had just pulled away from the STOP sign, so I was moving quite slowly, and the cat chose that moment to cross the street, from East to West. I had seen photos of one before, but I couldn’t believe what a stunning animal I was looking at, as it paused before entering the comservation area. I stopped at a small turnout, and went back with my camera, but the Fisher was gone. First one I have ever seen. What a rush! Terry

  16. I heard a fisher cat around 3:30 this morning and, to say it scared the daylights out of me, is putting it mildly. It truly is a blood curling “scream.” Having horse outside at night, I was terrified for them. Having no idea what was making this horrific “I’m being murdered” scream, I didn’t know if the horses were safe or not. I was too terrified to go out and bring them inside the barn, so I kept the lights on, figuring the brightness would keep whatever was making this noise away. I will NEVER forget the screaming of a Fisher cat…never.

  17. I had 2 stalk me before one was distraction the other came around the house about 15 feet from me. The only reason I noticed it was a twig snapped and I looked behind me. They do attack people but rarely then next time I saw one it ran up a tree. I have been awoken by the calls before they can be loud.

  18. This is from Carver MA. I heard a blood curdling scream at 12.07am. I put on porch light and went out to investigate and saw an animal crossing from one house to the next, I did not recognize what the animal was, I called a neighbor next day, she told me it was a Fisher cat. I looked it up on the Internet and it was a Fisher. The scream was like it came out of a horror movie. I couldn’t sleep. It sounds like a woman being attacked and a baby screaming, mixed.

  19. I live in cambridge, ma and train tracks run behind my house. Last night i think i heard a fisher! The screaming started around 11p and went on and off til around 3p. Ive never heard anything like it before and it was quite unnerving. Could it be possible a fisher would be so close to the city??

    • I have a friend in Dorchester that got a photo of one in his back yard. So yes, it is very likely they are in Cambridge as well.

  20. I believe we just had one on our front yard, we’re off Old Kings Rd near willowbend. I recorded it but you won’t see anything. I’ll try and learn how to upload.

  21. I have to say those of you that say you wish to see a fisher are insane and know nothing about fishercats. They are the only animal in Maine besides the Bobcat, which people will say they aren’t in maine because they are not hunters nor trappers, I have personally seen them while trapping and so have many others, but fishers are the only other animal in Maine that will openny attack a human just for being in its “territory.” As a person who has trapped fishers I would rather come across wolves or a bobcat then have a fisher find me at night because it would mean death if not seriously injured.

  22. My wife and I run a camp
    ground in Barron county in Northwest Wisconsin. Often during
    The night we hear the terrifying screan of a fisher. It is usually quite close by. One evening just at dusk it was heard but not seen very close to a campsite with little children. Needless to say, the parents were totally freaked.

  23. I live in Dedham Mass and the river is directly behind my house. We were having a fire and four of us were quiet and just relaxing…when one of us said “well time to go in” when all of a sudden we heard the screech and snarl of an animal we had never heard or seen before! I think we startled it. My brother flashed the light on it and thankfully it was across the river directly on the opposite side. It snarled and let out a weird loud howl/screech and showed these huge teeth teeth similar to a dog but pointer. It looked like maybe an over grown possum/ferret/raccoon! It freaked us all out! When I described the experience to a friend she immediately said ..oh fisher cat…never heard of it? Googled it and blam!! That was what we saw! 44 years I have lived here and NEVER seen any animal like that in my yard. My neighbor recently got chickens…some were missing…hhhmmm…

  24. I do not agree..I’ve lived in the dense woods my whole life. I’ve heard Fox, porcupine, cat, dog,rabbit, raccoon, eagles, moose,crow, woodchuck, deer, beer, beaver, skunk, name it I’ve heard it. My brother and I have both heard this blood chilling scream along the river bed and in the backyard. It didn’t sound anything like any animal I’ve ever heard. It literally sounds like a crow scream but with a woman voice, being murdered. It’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever heard. My brother works in the woods and hunts has never heard a thing like it either. I don’t agree with this. we have noticed fishers just recently within the passed few weeks. And only started hearing this unrecognizable noise around this time. It’s only between three and five am we hear it. Both times I heard it. First was 4:45 am & second following morning 5:05 am. My brother heard the same exact thing two mornings previous to when I heard them. I say them cuz there was one close and another further more faintly heard from me. As soon as I made a noise they got much further from me.

  25. Just seen and heard a baby one outside my bathroom window! Im from Hutchinson, MN. Super creepy. Screams so loud and disturbing…

  26. So my friend got this recording outside of her home at about 8:30pm one day and just not sure what it is. I’m not sure how to copy and paste the recording on here. Sorry.

  27. Please, for the sanity – call the by their name: Fishers. They are not “Fisher cats.”

  28. We live in NJ 08343 zip code. We have 2 on a lake area in the middle of nowhere. They are new to the area and at first thought they were wolverines. They yell to each other, I guess to let each other know where they are.

  29. I live in Bellingham, Washington and for the longest time, I had thought that what I had heard must have been a strange beaver scream. At the time I had no idea what a fisher cat even was, let alone how they had recently started repopulating in my area. When I first heard the scream I had been sitting near the creek bank since before it had become dark out. I would hear an occasional splash, but knowing a beaver den was nearby had assumed it was one of them. The scream I had heard made me jump out of my boots! scrambling to get up, legs numb from being stationary for so long, I had fallen back down into a heap with my flashlight shining around wildly… It would have been an embarrassing sight if anyone would have been around. I could not find the source of the scream but could still hear splashing. After about five minutes of scanning with my light and calling out for what I had at first mistaken must have been a woman, I finally gave up and started to leave. About 50 yards from the creek it had screamed a few more times. Each of these screams were bone-chilling. I was sure it wasn’t any person, but the best way I could describe it to my friends later was that it sounded like a woman getting murdered slowly in the face.